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Metal Stair Treads Evaluation

July 8, 2010

Metal stair treads are used in almost every industry. There are so many different choices and different style, how do you choose the right type of metal stair tread for your particular application?

Evaluate the following:

• Environment: Are there liquids that get tracked or spilled on the metal stair treads that should be drained? Are harsh chemicals used on the stair treads?

• Weight requirements: Is a lightweight movable stair way needed? Will these metal stair treads be suspended or grounded?

• Traffic: What type of traffic will these metal stair treads receive? Is it only foot traffic or do dollies and canisters get dragged up and down these treads?

• Safety: What type of safety product will these metal stair treads include?

OSHA Standard 1910.24 has safety recommendations for fixed general stair; everything from tread width and stair strength to the angle of the stair tread riser and the use of slip resistant products are specified. These recommendations may help you decide which type of metal stair tread is right for your application. OSHA Standard 1910.24F specifically states that stair treads should be reasonably slip resistant and the nosings should have a non slip finish.

In my opinion, if you are working with metal stair treads the best way to meet OSHA Standard 1910.24F is to use a metal stair tread that has a metal non-slip surface applied to it. These non-slip metal stair treads can be purchased as entire treads, tread covers or as nosings that can be applied to existing treads. Metal stair treads that have a metal non-slip coating provide a high traction surface no matter what type of environment they are placed in. I feel that using a temporary non-slip solution such as a taped on or painted on product is not cost effective. These treatments have to be replaced often and do not provide the best protection. Metal stair treads coated with a metal slip resistant surface remain slip resistant for years. These metal stair treads are available in steel, stainless steel and aluminum so they are versatile in different environments and with different types of traffic.

Safety should be an important aspect of the type of metal stair tread you choose to fulfill your stair requirements and needs. For the safety of your staff and/or the community, make sure you invest in a permanent non-slip metal stair tread instead of a temporary solution.

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